The copy and the cover art are now in the hands of Gail Cross, Fezziwig Press' fantastic book designer. Scheduled release of Balthazar and Zeeba is October 15th, 2014. It will be available as a premium hardbound book and as an e-book at Apple's iBooks and at Barnes and Nobles' Nook app.
This is an all-ages novella. Appropriate for ages 8 to 88.
And if you want to be on the pre-order list, simply comment on this blog or email me at email@example.com. I'll get your shipping info and $$$ later.
On a personal note, I couldn't be happier with the cover art. David captured the spirit and content of my little Christmas book perfectly. Thank you, Mr. Wyatt. Thank you so very much.
The cover of "A Rolodex Of Haikus" by Tunafish Smith, found by Stu Jenks. (c) Gail Cross and Stu Jenks 2014.
Tunafish's book will be out soon. Shooting for September. And it'll be release'd simultaneously as both a paperback through Fezziwig Press and elsewhere, and as an e-book on Apple's iBooks, and at Barnes and Noble's Nook app.
I'll let you all know when we have a firm release day.
From top to bottom: "Mare Island Hoop Dance, California","Sage Grouse Flame Spirals, Utah", "Hawk Over Coalmine, Arizona", "Joy Spot Rock, Coalmine Canyon, Arizona", "The Ghost In The Distance, Coalmine Canyon, Arizona", "Kingman Wash Bridge, Arizona/Nevada State Line", "Abandoned Condos Behind The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nevada", "Nothing, Arizona". All images (c) 2014 Stu Jenks.
And feel free to message me on the StuBlog or on Facebook with your favorites. Not all images you'll see up here, in the coming weeks, will be in the show. Not by a long short. Financial limitations (framing, printing, etc) and space concerns (Wee Gallery is a wee little place) will dictate what's in the show. So if you like something, tell me. It will influence what I print and frame.
Folly: a building in the form of a castle, temple, etc, built to satisfy a fancy or conceit, often of an eccentric kind. (Collins English Dictionary)
Legend has it, that the folly atop The Biscuit of the Mustang Mountains was built by an eccentric/mentally ill/unemployable son of a wealthy rancher. “He takes care of The Biscuit,” my source said to me long ago. “It’s his job.” It’s been seven years since I’ve hiked to the top of The Biscuit. Many of the cairns marking the crude trail up have fallen down. (I repaired them as I climbed.) The trail is now hard to follow. The folly at the top is still in fine shape but I can’t help but wonder where the crazy son of the rancher is, perhaps living in a nursing home or just dead. I guess I’ll never know.
"Though none of us will live forever, our stories can. As long as one soul remains who can tell the story, the greater forces of love, mercy, generosity, and strength are continuously called into the world." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Image: "The Old Man Of The Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland" (c) 2014 Stu Jenks.
...and I just ordered the first boxes of hardbound books. We are ahead of our scheduled July 7th release. I'll let you know when the books arrive. For those who would like to pre-order, just go to my squareup.com market page. And those of you in the Tucson area, Air & Gravity will be available at my studio, online of course, and at some other local outlets, one for sure being Tucson Touch Therapies.
The book looks and smells great. I'm very happy with Ingram, my printer. I think you will be too.
Image: "Dos Cabezas Thistle, Arizona" (c) 2014 Stu Jenks.
The first draft of the Step Zero Christmas book went to three readers. One liked it, except for the overly-long ending, but the two other readers said the exact same thing.
"It's OK," they said, with slight disappointment in their voices.
"Ah, shit," I said and chuckled.
I've now risen to a level of mediocrity.
So I felt sorry for myself for three days and then began a complete restructure and rewrite of the Step Zero Christmas book. A dramatic shift in focus, characters and plot. That's all I'll say. Don't want to spoil anything.
But I can't help but laugh.
Fifteen years ago, I would have argued my case when I hear, "It's OK," badgering my two readers with reasons that the novel was so much more then just OK. But I'm a bit humbly of an artist these days. I'm not particularly talented, don't you know, but I try to make up for that with hard work and an active imagination. I'm not God's gift to anything, but I do have a couple of skills, and I strive to make the best of what I have.
And I can do better than "It's OK."
Wish me luck in the rewrite. I don't know if I'll get this book out to you all by Christmas but I'll do my level best. It's all any of us can do, when you get right down to it, to do our level best.
P.S. The first sentence in the new second chapter is this:
"I’ve only been an angel ghost for 10 years, but it still makes me uneasy when a family member dies and we are all over here, waiting to catch them, as they pass over to our side of things."
Addemdum from May 23rd: Some confusion from my blog readers. I'm talking about the Step-Zero-Christmas-Book-In-Which-I'm-Saying-The-Title-Since-The-Title-Gives-Something-Away. I'm not speaking about Air & Gravity book. That's on track for its July 7th release.
The "Air & Gravity" cover with crops, bleeds, fold areas, etc. Thought you might enjoy seeing how the sausage is made. And the first edition will be a case laminate matte finished hardcover book, priced at $21.95.
Please give as you can. I really need your help this time.
The book is done. I just need the money to design it, print it and distribute it.
And there are gifts and rewards with each donation that will be mailed out promptly to you.
Thanks for whatever you can contribute. I know times are tough, but I believe you will enjoy reading book two of my Step Zero series. It's better than the first book, if I do say so myself.
"It better be," says the angel ghost off to my left. "You don't write everyday to get worse at it, do you?"
No. I don't.
Love, light and luck,
P.S. Update from 4/26/2014: I've raised over $800 as of this morning. Thanks so much. And since I've past a minimum amount, I will receive all the money given to pubslush.com. Fantastic. And the book will be published even if I have to put it on my credit card. I just don't want to do that obviously. Thanks again for giving and have a great week.